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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) : A Quirky Look of Friendship and Loss

Posted on the 25 October 2015 by Ikzidna @InspiredGround

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I think it’s safe to say that we spent time in high school trying to fit in. And I think most of teenager movies today are about trying to fit in; the pressures, who they hate, who they love, who they love and hate. It’s also about pursuing your love crush and all its twist. Also about college choices and future. But Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) is all about friendship (and a bit about their future), and it’s purely that. From just that, I find it very much a stand out from any teen movies today and it’s refreshing.

What made it refreshing also is the characters, Greg (Thomas Mann) and his buddy Earl (RJ Cyler). Gregg is a skinny awkward senior high school student, loathes himself while trying to get a long with all the social cliques in his high school. He gets along with his childhood ‘friend’, Earl, the laid back and cool teen who lives in a tougher neighborhood. They spent their lunch time watching movies in their high school cool teacher room. They love watching foreign films and make films too, mostly their comical version of the legendary movies ever made.

One day, Greg’s mother make him accompany Rachel (Olivia Cooke), his school mate who has just been diagnosed for leukemia. Through all of his resentment since he hardly know or hang out with Rachel, Greg tries to accompany her and Rachel welcomes him more of because it is obligatory. As time goes by, they finally can establish friendship. Rachel knows and watches his and Earl’s artsy but silly films.

Gregg didn’t realize how Rachel’s cancer can effect his life and focus, especially when Rachel loses her hope to ever be cured. May I remind you, there’s no romantic relationship here. No, nothing like Fault in Our Stars or 50/50. At the same time, it’s different and pretty realistic since not every man and woman friendship can develop to romance, especially when one have potential to not live longer.

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This is a very refreshing view of teenage life and death. It’s hard enough to make death topic to be not depressing, but to make it light and joyful is definitely a triumph. How Gregg, Earl and Rachel together be as a group is such an interesting colors to blend. Gregg is this nice awkward kid, Earl has tough and bold personality, Rachel is sweet and open minded gal. There’s no sappy quotes about life and death, it’s just as it is. A tough thing to deal for a  young age. Especially for Gregg who isn’t excited with his future, while sees Rachel has no more options.

“..even after somebody dies, you can.. you can still keep learning about them. You know, their life. It can keep unfolding itself to you just as long… just as long as you pay attention to it.”

This movie has a personal note to me as it deals with death, and the quote I put in this article really speaks to me as well. You can lose a person in your life, but still learn new things from them as life goes by. The movie also present how death happens as part of natural thing in life.

It wasn’t just about Rachel and how Gregg with Rachel, but also about Gregg and Earl. How they are brothers, though they look cool or didn’t say much about feelings. This movie would bring color for movie lovers, as Gregg and Earl also love movies and make movies.

I love the quirkiness this movie have, in all of its elements and even in its simplicity. It is such a standout among those high school movies. It didn’t exaggerate or push itself to be different, it’s just is.

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